As North Shore painters, we’re often asked by homeowners “how to get rid of paint”. Paint is particularly difficult to dispose of as doing so incorrectly can have an extremely negative environmental impact – something we always want to minimise or (preferably) avoid completely.

Do you really need to dispose of paint?

We always advise our clients to keep that half-full tin of wall or trim paint handy in the garage. Why? When it’s time for touchups it’s almost impossible to match an existing paint colour, even if you have the name of the paint colour. You see, mixing paint colour isn’t an exact science and there will always be slight variations to even the same paint colour. By keeping that spare tin of paint your north shore painter can easily touch up any areas without having to repaint the entire wall (or room!).


Paintback is a great initiative that allows you to dispose of unwanted paint at no charge. Currently, there are over 114 collection sites across Australia, with additional pop up centres. Take a look at their website to find your nearest collection centre.

Dry and dispose as general waste

If your paint is water-based, most councils allow completely dried paint tins to be disposed of in your general waste bin. However, it is vital that you ensure your paint is 100% dried before throwing into the bin. Unfortunately, simply leaving the tin of paint out to dry won’t always cut it (it sometimes will only harden the top, not the bottom). So we recommend adding something absorbant like kitty litter, sawdust or paint hardener.

Oil-based paint is considered hazardous waste and require special disposal practices. 

Repurpose paint for another project

Leftover paint can be a great, low-cost solution to update tired furniture or create a paint project to update the look of your home (like a new canvas artwork for the wall). If you don’t need the paint maybe ask friends and family if they might want it.

Whatever you do never pour paint down the drain or dispose of wet paint tins into your garbage bin. This can not only contaminate landfill but cause damage to garbage trucks and property during the